Aussies booed by crowd in netball triumph at Commonwealth Games

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Australian players, pictured here celebrating after winning netball gold at the Commonwealth Games.
The Australians celebrate after winning netball gold at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

Australia's netballers have captured a historic gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, becoming the first team in history to win the final after losing in the pool games.

The Diamonds restored their netball supremacy in Birmingham on Sunday, gaining revenge on Jamaica's 'Sunshine Girls' after their shock loss earlier in the tournament.

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Stacey Marinkovich's team managed to defuse the threat of the world's best player in goal-shooter Jhaniele Fowler as they prevailed 55-51 at the National Exhibition Centre Arena in a thrilling final.

Three days after they'd let a six-goal lead slip against Jamaica and playing against a raucous crowd baying for another Aussie loss, the Diamonds were not about to slip up twice.

Gretel Bueta, with a perfect 37 goals from 37 attempts, combined superbly with Cara Koenen (11 from 11) up front while Courtney Bruce led the Diamonds' defensive effort.

The win marked their fourth Commonwealth title to go along with 11 World Cups and six Quad Series wins, re-establishing the Aussies as one of global sport's most dominant teams.

However this one came in unprecedented fashion as the Aussies become the first team to lose in the pool rounds before going on to win Commonwealth gold.

They also had to do it in front of a noisy and raucous Birmingham crowd who were desperate to see the Sunshine Girls pull off another upset and still upset about Australia's win over England in the semi-final.

Things turned ugly late in the match when the crowd booed Ash Brazill after her attempt at an intercept saw a Jamaican player fall to the ground heavily.

The umpires were also booed on a number of occasions when calls went against the Jamaicans.

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The Australians began impressively on Sunday, suffocating the Jamaicans in defence to open up an early six-goal lead.

They were still up 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.

But the complexion quickly changed with Fowler the focal point, prompting Marinkovich to introduce Sarah Klau as goalkeeper to quell the dominance of the superstar Jamaican shooter, who was dominating Bruce.

This time it was the Aussies' turn to fight back and take the high-quality match into the half-time break at 29-29.

The Diamonds then blasted out after the break, with Bruce - by now playing a dominant role at goal defence - pumping her fist at an early turnover which prompted a run of seven-straight Australian goals.

The Diamonds, pictured here celebraing after winning netball gold at the Commonwealth Games.
The Diamonds celebrate after winning netball gold at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

The lead increased to 10 before the Jamaicans pulled it back to six going into the final quarter - ominously for the Aussies, the same deficit they had in Thursday's match.

But this time they were not about to let it slip, although there were a few nerves when the deficit was briefly reduced to just three with the brilliant Fowler ending with 46 goals from 47 attempts.

The win also marked Australia's 1000th gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Australia went into the Birmingham Games with 934 golds, with the two wins at the unofficial 1911 Festival Of Empire not counting.

with AAP

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